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UW Hospital's emergency room diverted patients for 5 hours Saturday

The emergency department at UW Hospital diverted patients for more than five hours Saturday afternoon due to an electrical problem, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Around 1 p.m., an electrical transformer at the Madison hospital malfunctioned. The transformer shut off power in the hospital and hospital staff had to begin diverting patients from the emergency room.

Power to “critical” infrastructure and equipment was immediately restored through a backup generator system, UW Health said in a statement Saturday. The backup system meant the hospital was never without power, UW Health spokesperson Gian Galassi said.

Still, the hospital’s emergency department was placed on full patient diversion until around 6:15 p.m. Saturday evening, according to UW Health. The hospital said the diversion was put in place out of an “abundance of caution.”

Though patients can now access the hospital’s emergency room, the hospital did not say whether the electrical transformer is functioning normally at this time.

Galassi did not immediately have information on what caused the transformer to fail.

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